Two Poems by Mark J Mitchell


She dreamed she was the littlest girl. At five
each morning dresses rose to her soft form.
Lost melodies sprung up around her. Warm
sunrise found straight paths through her window.
Slick tap shoes slipped onto her feet, alive
to music and morning. Dreams made her float
to labor, boredom. To crabbed, cryptic notes
left by people she didn’t want to know.
She was not little. She’d never felt small
in large rooms. She hid her jeans with shirt tails
and pasted smiles—ready for unliked crowds.
She’d miss the mirror then make morning calls
and coffee. Catch her bus where sirens wailed
like her alarm—whining too long, too loud.

The Sea Witch

A slow, silver tide rolls in.
The Sea Witch, tied to her float,
bobs lonely as a glass saxophone.

Moonlight’s carving thin
slices through the fog. Empty boats
summon tide-scrubbed bones.

No human beings can begin
these November songs—the loose coats
foghorns shed when they feel alone.

Some lost name, a misplaced sin,
drifts past The Sea Witch. A note
the bottle missed. A not quite poem.

Lost shark schools chase fins
that can’t cut water. Silverfish hosts
reflect the last light of this moon.

Now the tide goes red, coming in
below The Sea Witch. She floats,
bopping to a sad song from a saxophone.


Mark J. Mitchell was born in Chicago and grew up in southern California. His latest poetry collection, Starting from Tu Fu will be published by Encircle Publications shortly.

He lives in San Francisco with his wife, the activist and documentarian, Joan Juster where he makes his meager living pointing out pretty things.

He has published 2 novels, three chapbooks and two full length collections so far. Titles on request.

A meager online presence can be found at

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